All I Want for Christmas Is... A Black Swan Action Figure
Thursday, 22 December 2011 Written by Ivan Radford
From the makes of Drive: Scalextric, Tinker Tailer Whack-A-Mole and Buried: The Board Game, treat that special boy/girl in your life to a Black Swan Action Figure!
This exclusive action figure features a full facial likeness of Natalie Portman and comes in a special limited edition Black Swan box. With removable body parts and officially licensed swan replica pieces, you can recreate the full psychological horror of Darren Aronofsky's ballet drama in your living room.
The Black Swan Action Figure has flexible limbs and a 4-inch wing span and can be positioned in three special poses: Sitting, Stretching, and SWAN.
Do you just want to be perfect? Find out what happened to mummy's sweet little girl as you watch Natalie Portman transform into a swan - in your own hands!
(Warning: May not be suitable for under-12s. Mila Kunis sex doll not included.)
For more Christmas gift ideas, keep opening the i-Flicks Advent Calendar.
Thursday, 24 February 2011 Written by Ivan Radford
You know how it is: you get on the train, an old man starts perving at you, maybe he sings a song, maybe he gets his tongue out, but the disturbing thing is that he looks strangely familiar.
That's because he's Uncle Hank. And he's been riding Darren Aronofsky's subway for years.
At first, I recognised the man in Black Swan as being vaguely like the bloke from Pi, but thought it was just a coincidence. Then I started to re-watch Aronofsky's back catalogue and realised he was a proper recurring character. Allow me to introduce you to Darren Aronofsky's favourite uncle.
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 Written by Ivan Radford
Director: David O'Russell
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo
Micky Ward (Wahlberg) is a boxer - not a great one, but a good one. He's the younger brother of Dicky Ecklund (Bale). Dicky's a boxer too. He once knocked down Sugar Ray. Now he spends his days honking on his crack pipe and talking bollocks to a video camera.
Tuesday, 18 January 2011 Written by Ivan Radford
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassell, Winona Ryder
There aren't many films that open with a 10 minute classical dance sequence. It's an audacious move, one that sets the tone for a bold and operatic outing from director Darren Aronofsky. A modern update of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, it's a steaming psychological thriller with more than a touch of the theatrical. And it storms the stage right up to the final curtain.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010 Written by Ivan Radford
WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.
Speaking of wrong, let's talk about the Golden Globe nominations. The nominations which not only suggested that The Tourist was one of the Best Films of the year (Comedy or Musical), but also that Johnny Depp's performance in it was only rivalled by his other performance in Alice in flipping Wonderland.
There's not been a more wrong set of votes since Nick Clegg won Most Honest Pupil at his primary school in 1977.
In the Drama categories, everything stayed on course. Most of the time. Black Swan, The Social Network and The King's Speech are all fighting it out with The Fighter as expected. Even Inception has got a look in, which is a reassuring sign that Nolan won't get snubbed again at the Oscars after The Dark Knight's lack of screenplay/director nominations.
But then weird things happened. Like David O'Russell and Tom Hooper getting the nod ahead of Danny Boyle. Wrong. Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole getting a nomination instead of Sally Hawkins in Made in Dagenham. Wrong. Scott Pilgrim not getting mentioned anywhere, never mind The Ghost (Writer). WRONG.
The only thing the HFPA got right (other than Christopher Nolan's Best Director nom) was Emma Stone's mention for Easy A. That and giving both Julianne Moore and Annette Bening a place in the line-up for The Kids Are All Right, which is also holding its own in the screenplay category.
Still, at least How to Train Your Dragon is getting some recognition in the Best Animated Feature race. Toy Story 3 will beat everything to it, but if you don't smile like a baby when you see The Illusionist's nomination, you're as thick as Angelina Jolie's lips.
Read on for the full list of film nominees. Then count how long until you start shouting "STOP GETTING GLOBES WRONG!"
Monday, 13 December 2010 Written by Ivan Radford
It's the Golden Globes nominations tomorrow lunchtime, but the build up to the Oscars has already begun with Los Angeles, New York and Boston Critics all dishing out their awards over the weekend. Nobody wants to read three full-scale lists of film titles, but here's the main thing to take away from it all: The Social Network has seriously kicked butt.
LA crowned it Best Picture, with Fincher also getting Best Director (although he has to share it with Olivier Assayas for Carlos). Aaron Sorkin also scooped Best Screenplay and Trent Raznor shared Best Score with The Ghost Writer. The same happened in Boston (minus The Ghost Writer and Carlos), with the bonus of Best Actor for Jesse Eisenberg. New York followed suit, but honoured the acting of James Franco in 127 Hours instead.
So what can you surmise? Well, firstly, Natalie Portman is a strong Best Actress candidate for Black Swan - she got two of three critics' awards. So strong, in fact, that Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone didn't even get a look in (she got pipped by Mother's Kim Hye-Ja to Los Angeles' prize). Secondly, Colin Firth's return to the Best Actor field may be hard-fought if James Franco and Jesse Eisenberg impress the Academy this much. Thirdly, Black Swan will be getting every editing/cinematography gong going.
And fourthly, Fincher's Facebook film will win EVERYTHING ELSE.
While Christian Bale bashes away at Best Supporting Actor in the background, the eyes of Hollywood turn to their Foreign Press Association, who announce their Golden Globe nominations in a matter of hours. Judging by the American Film Institute's Top Ten of the year, The Social Network will be right up there with the best of them. The question is: will the best include Inception? Or will David Fincher face down Christopher Nolan with his more conventional Faustian drama?
The Social Network is more awards-friendly in that its not a blockbuster. But Inception is as intelligent and absorbing as Aaron Sorkin's account of real events. Maybe if Nolan had a CGI clone of Leonardo DiCaprio, the matter would already be resolved. For now, I'm torn between my admiration for my academically adept younger child, and my love for my first-born who likes blowing things up with his mind.
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 Written by Ivan Radford
"I had the craziest dream last night, about a girl who was turned into a swan..."
How easy is it to get excited by a film that you've already seen? It turns out very easy when it's Black frickin' Swan, a veritable cinematic masterpiece that combines Natalie Portman, spindly legs and tinkly music with one hell of a mental breakdown.
A contemporary update of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, Nina (Portman) is a dancer in a New York troupe, led by Thomas (Vincent Cassell), who are preparing to stage the ballet at the start of their new season. Trying to inhabit both the naivety of the White Swan and the sensuality of the Black, Nina fights for perfection in the lead role. Then she gives up and starts smashing mirrors. Add the sexy Mila Kunis into the mix and things get well disturbing.
Black Swan is released on Friday 21st January, right in the lead up to awards season, and I for one can't wait. Again. Read on for the new poster, or check out the full Black Swan international trailer in the videos section.
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 Written by Ivan Radford
Darren Aronofsky is looking increasingly likely to take on the helm of Wolverine 2. Which would explain why he just turned down Tales from the Gangster Squad.
Bryan Singer did it. Christopher Nolan did it. And now the director of The Wrestler seems ready to make that jump from personal independent projects to big studio releases. And that change in career will probably begin with X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2.
Warner Bros almost bagged Aronosfky for Tales from the Gangster Squad after Ben Affleck turned it down. But he's jumping from one studio to another with Wolverine, which he is in serious talks to direct. The main bonus for him? The chance to work with Hugh Jackman again.
Reuniting with The Fountain's star is one of the main appeals of this sequel, which could pretty much be summed up by the word "pointless". But if they're going from Christopher McQuarrie's script based on Frank Miller's material, set in Japan with a female love interest, and Hugh Jackman and Darren Aronofsky are given a free reign to make the film they want, this could turn out quite interesting.
That's a whole lot of ifs, though. At least Mr Aronofsky would get more money to take home to Mrs Aronofsky and the kids (well, an engaged Rachel Weisz and one son). He deserves that much - especially if Black Swan delivers on its huge buzz.
Thursday, 07 October 2010 Written by Ivan Radford
People planning to rush out and buy a "What would Darren Aronofsky do?" t-shirt, hold your horses. Because he's pretty much been offered every single film in existence. And several that are probably just invented by psychotic fans as an excuse to email him.
One such project is Tales from the Gangster Squad, that film that got offered to Ben Affleck by Warner Bros when he supposedly turned down the Superman reboot. Now, with Aranofsky being linked (still) with Wolverine 2, Warners are tempting the Black Swan director away from 20th Century Fox with the crime film, which Affleck again has passed on.
Based on a series of LA Times articles, Tales is about a group of off-the-record mercenary cops who join together to run mob leader Micky Cohen out of town. The good news for Warners? If Aronofsky does decide to go claws all out with his mate Hugh Jackman, then they have a list of backups: Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend), Paul Greengrass, Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart), Life as We Know It’s Greg Berlanti, and Martin Campbell.
So that's another bunch of director-themed t-shirts I wouldn't bother buying just yet if I were you.
Monday, 04 October 2010 Written by Ivan Radford
Zack Snyder has been picked to direct Superman.
Overseeing the reboot of the Man of Steel, Christoper Nolan's Superman shortlist had several helmers lined up as potential candidates, but the job has gone to the 300 director. Snyder, very much a Warner Bros favourite, also made Watchmen for the studio. Which gives him wonderful experience in doing a slap up job of ruining a great graphic novel.
Snyder beat Darren Aronofsky, Ben Affleck, Matt Reeves and Tony Scott to the post, which even tempted Robert Zemeckis out of his fortress of stop-motion solitude. But after Affleck reportedly turned down Warner Bros' offer to restart the franchise (after Bryan Singer's under-appreciated effort), David Goyer's script went the way of Mr Watchmen.
Hopefully the 2011 deadline for retaining the copyright for the DC comic books had a lot to do with the decision. As opposed to, say, Christopher Nolan being overwhelmed by the idea of working with the "visionary director of 300". And Suckerpunch. That's another one for Warner Bros.